Have you ever read a story or novel and wished you were the one who had written it? We love our favorite authors because we like how they work—we enjoy the characters they write, the plots they’ve constructed, and the style in which they write. It’s easy to want to emulate these writers, but in order to avoid plagiarism, you have to learn to match this writing without imitating it.
If it’s writing style you want to replicate, try taking passages from the writing you like and having them next to you while you write your own version of it. You want to keep your own voice in it, of course, but this is just a good warm up exercise. Do this until you feel comfortable with the style. Then, when you are ready to write your own material, put the published writing away so you are not tempted to plagiarize in any way.
If it’s the plot you’re craving to match, this could be a little more challenging to replicate and still keep your own voice. Fan fiction is always a possibility. This includes writing sequels or prequels of the original work, writing stories with already created characters, or writing stories with similar plots. Most fan fic is not published except in rare situations, but there are always exceptions. Although it may not seem like it, 50 Shades of Grey is actually fan fiction of the Twilight series!
The biggest thing in imitation writing is to make sure you do more creating than imitating. If you hope to get your writing published, you want it to be your own, instead of a copy of someone else. In the end, you should use other people’s work to fuel your own. You can be the next bestseller all by yourself.
P.S.—Happy Bad Poetry Day!